The weighty concept behind Bereavement, the new album from Canadian duo Jupiter Hollow belies a record that’s full of punch and fire.
Release Date: 12th June 2020
Format: CD / DL
The duo of Grant Mackenzie and Kenny Parry follow up 2018’s Ahdomn with a companion work in their new album, Bereavement. Like its predecessor, t’s another concept work: “a direct continuation to Ahdomn’s story. Bereavement is designed to be listened to from start to finish, as each song builds upon the story and sets the mood of each scene – just like a movie,” we’re told.
Lyrically, the narrative follows a man with unimaginable global power who sends important members of his family and society away to a habitable world outside of our solar system in order to salvage humanity. He may be capable of salvaging the dying society on Earth, yet finds more solace in the greed and power he has inherited.
After a lifelong internal battle with mental instability, he leaves humanity to extinction on Earth and sends himself and his ship aimlessly into space, attempts suicide and crashes on a planet in another solar system. Heavy stuff.
So this is where Bereavement begins: as our character awakes, he realises where he is, and that he will soon meet the remaining faces that have abandoned him, just as he abandoned them, and they’re hungry…
While the birdsong of the intro suggests we’re getting close to the edge the calmness of the acoustic guitar with added percussive adornments is more than relaxing. It leads to an exceptional Sacrden Valley where the piano and vocal are complemented by an expressive and very tasteful guitar solo. Hardly a hint that there are some musical fireworks about to follow.
The first highlight comes with The Rosedale that takes us into Pearl Jam territory. All bouncing and chunky riffing and a dash of vocals that head into piercing Geddy Lee territory. It’s not for the first time as they chop and change between death metallic growls and everything in between including some falsetto parts. The mid-album sequence in particular is packed with dynamic switches in time signatures and some impressive interplay. The four-minute slab of The Mill packs in as much as some bands would put into half an hour.
Amidst the panzer style onslaught is the odd interval such as in Mandating Our Perception, where a spacey ambience offers a brief respite. Sawbreaker thought, is positively brutal with the throat-ripping vocal reflecting violence and desperation within the opening two minutes and barely letting up. A series of galactic blips and bleeps induce a moment’s relaxation and segue into an Extensive Knowledge that drifts in on gentle acoustic waves.
Twelve minutes of Solar Gift bring closure and sees the duo doing a musical revisit of most of the styles that have led this far. There’s less of a focus on the extremities as it concludes an intriguing piece of work. An album that finds itself squaring up confidently to the likes of prog metal pioneers and heavyweights such as Haken and Caligula’s Horse. Bereavement is where Jupiter’s Hollow starts to play with the big boys.
Listen to The Rosedale here: